Phil Simms Talks To JoeJanuary 30th, 2013
CBS has outdone BSPN at the Super Bowl this week. Usually, BSPN, with all its tentacles, overwhelms big events. Not this week. It’s CBS. With its army of talent from CBS News, CBS entertainment shows and, of course, CBS Sports Radio and CBS Sports Network, all of Jackson Square in New Orleans is Manhattan South. Yesterday, CBS had a press conference featuring all the key figures in the NFL Today stable working the Super Bowl broadcast. Joe caught up with Super Bowl-winning quarterback Phil Simms, who will call the Super Bowl with Jim Nantz, after the press conference.
JoeBucsFan: When you said [earlier in your press conference statements] that when you look at Joe Flacco you see a good, strong-armed quarterback. When you look at Josh Freeman, what do you see?
Phil Simms: Well, you know, Josh Freeman is a big guy. He shows he definitely has all the skills you need to be a successful NFL quarterback. I don’t know him. I haven’t covered any Tampa Bay games, so it’s hard for me to know him but sure, I have watched all his games this year. New coaching staff, new offense, that is different. But what I think happens to a lot of young quarterbacks is, sooner or later, you have to take the team over. If you don’t take the team over, you won’t be the team’s quarterback. I would think that would be the big thing: Lead ‘em. Be a voice. Don’t be a friend with everyone. Don’t worry about it. Take advantage of the fact that players on the football team look at you differently because you are the quarterback. That is a positive. Make sure you use that to all of your power.
Joe: Up until just after the season, all you heard from the Bucs since the day Freeman was drafted that he was the franchise quarterback and all the team had to do was get him some more toys. Hours after the season was over, Greg Schiano comes out and says the Bucs need competition at quarterback. What is your read on that?
Simms: I don’t know if I take that as a knock on Josh Freeman. I think it is just the fact what they want a more competitive thing there, maybe put the quarterback on edge. Maybe some of the things I had just mentioned is what they are looking for. A lot of times, when people are faced with competition, it changes them. Makes them tougher. That’s a good thing. Or, maybe they think he needs competition because they are not going to be so lenient with him. You can take it a lot of ways. It is not a whole-hearted endorsement, that is for sure.
Joe: San Francisco has a nasty defense. Baltimore has a bruising defense. The Steelers always have a good defense. Denver had a good defense. Joe knows Schiano is trying to instill that into the Bucs and has had really good results on stopping the run. Even in the age of Star Wars quarterbacks numbers and video game offense, are we seeing sort of a renaissance, that you still need to have a beastly defense to win the Super Bowl?
Simms: Kind of. Look, we are in the day and age that defenses are going to go out there, like San Francisco last year, and hold teams to 13 or 17 points each week, I don’t think you can count on that anymore. The throwers and catchers are too good. There are too many coaches willing to use innovations and willing to show all of these plays. You need a defense that is going to be competitive. You hope it has its great games but as good as the 49ers are, and it is hard to find a weak link, what happened in the first half last [game]? And that happened up in Seattle, too. Great defenses never have those downs like that. So that tells you it is about the league. I think the new style of defense is what we see these teams play. Be conservative, a little bending, don’t give up big plays. I think that is how you have to play against the offenses of today.